Emiya Family Manga Cover

A while back I reviewed the anime adaptation of the manga Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family. At that time the video review went out, the first volume of the manga had come out, and I’d read it and enjoyed it, and since then two more volumes of the manga have come out since then, so it’s time to give this a proper review.

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Waver Velvet (Lord El-Melloi) reacting in shock and pain

Lord El-Melloi II is a mystery series that breaks from the conventions of the genre. Specifically, the convention of using the question of “Howdunit” to determine “Whodunit”. When urban fantasy normally sets into this territory, you see writers structure out their magic system to fit within this magical structure. Lord El-Melloi II, on the other hand, tosses convention out on its head and decides to play Calvinball instead.

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It feels like an unnecessary point to say, but it bears mentioning nonetheless – Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel II. Lost Butterfly is very much the middle installment of a trilogy. While the first film in this route, Presage Flower, had a very dark ending, this film manages to go into darker places and ends in a dire place. While the first two routes had a degree of brightness to their endings, and I have no doubt that the Heaven’s Feel route will be no exception, it’s important to go in knowing that.

It also bears mentioning going in, and I’m mentioning this before the cut for those who don’t want to read further before seeing the film – even though I’m going to minimize spoilers, that I would give this film a content advisory for sexual assault and suicide. Neither is depicted explicitly on screen (sort of), but it comes up, so it’s important to know going in.

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When I think of food porn in anime, I think of Food Wars – in part because of the risque reactions to the food, but more so because of the very involved dishes that are featured in the work – some of them are dishes that I feel I could make with some time and practice, but there are more than few others that I don’t think I could pull off, due to ingredients that aren’t available, or techniques that can be tricky to master (filleting a cut of meat, for example). Though there are a few other series that focus on food that is easier to pull off in the home, like Sweetness and Lightning.

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It is important to say this out of the gate, even more so than with Fate/Apocrypha – this is a film for people who have been watching Fate/Stay Night from the beginning. This, to a large degree, has to do with the structure of the original game. Heaven’s Feel is the third route of the game, played after (in order) the Fate and Unlimited Blade Works routes. Consequently, the story of the route has a lot less focus on explaining the Holy Grail War, Servants, or mages, because you’ve played through the game twice already. (more…)

Let’s make this clear from the beginning – if you’re looking for a gateway to the Fate universe – this isn’t it. While Fate/Apocrypha is set in an alternate timeline which would, in theory, free it from some of the baggage from the original work, this is not even remotely the case. I’ve discussed the first half of the series a few months ago, but now it’s time to talk about the series as a whole. There will be spoilers – so if you haven’t decided to watch the show yet, read that review first. (more…)

I’ve previously reviewed the first two Fate anime. Now it’s time to review the third – Ufotable’s adaptation of the second route – Unlimited Blade Works.

Footage Property of Aniplex and the Unlimited Blade Works Production Committee – used under fair use for purposes of criticism.

Fate/Stay Night Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewDl1Eob1Ho
Fate/Zero Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-E84C2lFqk

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The Fate universe has, in the works I’ve reviewed thus far, has generally formed a cohesive narrative whole – with the exception of clear comedic side-stories that are deliberately intended to be outside continuity like Carnival Phantasm. Others have adapted alternate routes of the visual novels that are part of Type-Moon’s Nasuverse (like Fate/Stay Night mostly adapting the Fate route and Unlimited Blade Works adapting that route). Fate/Prisma Illya is a true alternate take on the Fate Universe. (more…)

Before Kinoko Nasu created Tsukihime or Fate/Stay Night, he put out a light novel series titled “Garden of Sinners” (or Kara no Kyokai). The books set up some concepts that would be folded into to the collection of series that is generally known as the “Nasuverse” – though the series aren’t exactly in direct continuity with each other. In the mid-to-late 2000s, they were adapted into a series of animated films by Ufotable, prior to them getting the gig for Fate/Zero and Unlimited Blade Works. (more…)